First half of a class by William S. Burroughs on the technology and the ethics of wishing. The discussion includes rules for wishing, the dogma of science, L. Ron Hubbard, The Big Lie, and sympathetic magic. The class also includes a question and answer session covering subjects such as memory, Henry Miller, dreams in writing, and defining the soul. (Continues on 86p002.) Keywords: beat movement, magic and poetry, mysticism and literature, science and literature, consciousness and literature
November 23, 2019 Subject:
First of all, the “three wishes” theme is a great writing prompt.
Really, the subject includes so many pop-occult fads like dream catchers, vision boards, frequency treatments (Rife frequencies, e.g.) the Secret, Power of Positive Thinking, Cousins Cancer Cure, “manifesting”-all sourced from humans’ endless sense that something’s missing: if only I were to get this, or if that would stop, or this would change—-then (you fill it in).
Burroughs is brilliant. It’s a rare pleasure to hear him.
My name is Clem Snide and I was just sitting around my orgone accumulator immersed in alpha trance induced by the flickering of a dream machine across my closed eyelids, when I was struck by an odd question that had somehow crawled into my mind like a wasp through a crack in a windowpane and I asked myself: could there ever be such a thing as an actual Wish-Fulfilling machine? Troubled and torn by this question, I thought: by gum, if there's one visionary lunatic who would know the answer, it would be William Seward Burroughs. But, he's dead! I gasped. Fear not, you silly sod -- I reprimanded myself immediately -- there's always the internet! And I go online, and sure 'nuff there's the man himself expatiating on the very topic. Coincidence, or something more? You be the judge . . . BTW, could Burroughs have been the inspiration for Professor Frink, the glavin-spouting inventor on The Simpsons? Their voices are uncannily similar.
March 20, 2006 Subject:
I'm a huge fan of Burroughs' writing, but I was slightly disappointed by this recording. Parading junk science and occultism, and accepting it with unflinching gullibility - I got the impression of a desperate old man rather than the healthily cynical skeptic that comes through in most of his books.
December 12, 2005 Subject:
the wishing machine
Burroughs begins by introducing, from some book, the concept of "the wishing machine," and from there the lecture rambles along, the loosely connected ramblings of an old man. A very interesting old man, mind you, but nonetheless...
There is no consistent theme, though Burroughs is clearly intriqued by notions of synchroncity, premonition, precognition, and the relationship between these phenomena, the writer, and writing.
Burroughs here sounds more like a gonzo folklorist than an innovator of language. Often hilarious, but also somewhat plodding and uninspired.
Reviewer:Fred G. Sanford
December 13, 2004 Subject:
This is great. Burroughs is always excellent.
Quality of the voice on this recording is a little differnt than on some others. Here he sounds a bit like the old geezer in "it's a wonderful life"- Mr. Potter.
Subject matter is kinda fascinating, and it should be noted that the assembled students failed to have read the story he makes reference to at one point ("The Monkey's Paw").